Massawa – there is a lot to say about this historic city, located at Eritrea’s coastline at the red sea. The most important fact for the riders, surely was the heat of this day. Different to the capital Amsara, there is no altitude that “shelters” from the heat, no – the city is at sea level and you feel the whole power of the sun and at this day the power was strong and generated 38 Celcius. Given the fact that temperature in Europe is not that high at all at the moment, it was again a very challenging situation for the European part of the team.
But more interesting than weather conditions are the historic parts of this area and this city in particular. The port of Massawa was long time the most important and most developed port between Alexandria (Egypt) and Cape Town (South Africa), what rose the city of Massawa to the capital of the later by the Italians founded colony of Eritrea at the end of the 19th century. Only years later, the Italians moved the capital of Eritrea to Asmara and Massawa lost of importance at that time, but not of beautifulness. As you still can see today, there are many awesome and nice buildings that tells you stories from that history and gives you an impression on how people lived there in the past.
And at this hot and historic place, the fight for the victory should now take place. A more or less easy race, from a topographical point of view, on a flat circuit around the city. But as already told, it was the heat that should make the race hard for everybody at the end of the day and the riders of team Stradalli – BIKE AID had a big goal. Not less to win the race was the tactic for the day, as with Meron Teshome the fastest man in the peoton wears the jersey with the smiling cow on the back. After a lot of attacks in the beginning, there was a break of 4 guys who made it up to the front. The pack was controlled by the guys in black form Stradalli – BIKE AID and Amore e Vita from Italy, as they obviously shared the same goal. After hard work from the whole team in the last hour, it seems that the tactics would be successful as the peloton caught the guys in the front. But there were only 2 guys, and 2 of the break still left at the front with a small gap. And it was the African champion Tesfom Okubamariam who kept only 6 econds in front and won the race. All for nothing for the riders from the German team? No, not at all because Meron Teshome proofed that he was the fastest of the peloton and won the sprint of the pack. At the end he took an awesome 3rd place and another podium placing for Stradalli – BIKE AID at a UCI race!